My clients often tell me that they feel self-conscious and want to get in shape so they can feel more confident. In my experience, that confidence often needs to come before the hot body. When you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to take care of yourself by working out and eating well. But even if we understand that concept, it can be tough to make it happen. To help, I asked Liz Colella, a change strategist with a unique perspective on confidence, to answer three questions that I think will get us moving in the right direction.
I just finished Liz’s free 7-Day Confidence Booster and was truly impressed by her insights and action assignments. If her tips below resonate with you, I highly recommend you sign up for her free 7-day course at http://elizabethcolella.com/.
1. How can confidence improve your health?
As a leadership and life coach, I often see the issues of confidence, feeling like a fraud, and “faking it until you make it” come up for my clients, and in a number of contexts, such as work, networking events, or starting a new health and fitness program. I’ve noticed a lot of clout associated with the word confidence, and I’ve decided it might have something to do with its not-so-distant cousins: “fitting in,” “shoulds,” and “self-imposed pressure.” Egad. Just typing those words made me feel a little stressed. Who’s with me?
Once that self-imposed pressure valve gets released, however, it’s amazing how much easier it can be to feel lighter, freer, and, dare I say it—healthier.
Below are the steps to help you get there:
- Become aware of how your thoughts may be affecting your confidence; for instance, focusing on what a hot mess you might think you are won’t set you up to feel good, right? First, notice and allow your thoughts to be there without judgment. Second, challenge your thoughts; are they based on reality, or your perceptions of reality? Confidence comes from “owning” all of you—the good, the bad, the ugly. It’s a process, for sure, but it’s possible.
- Redefine that heavy hitter, confidence, as something that feels right for you; perhaps you’d like to borrow my phrase, which is to “be unabashedly real.”
- Notice the shift in yourself as you start to move through the world from your new vantage point.
2. Is there any connection between confidence and fitness?
I just thought of what I’ll call the confidence-fitness continuum. Here’s what I mean. To me, confidence boils down to accepting where you are right now, believing you have what it takes to put in the work to get you from where you are to where you want to be, and a willingness to feel vulnerable and try new things. Getting started with a fitness routine involves these elements of confidence, and once you stick with it, you start to feel the benefits—more energy and stamina, weight loss, self-pride that comes from discipline—and then, ba-bam, the inner confidence you had that got you started in the first place shows up on the outside.
3. What is your favorite tip for improving confidence?
A mentor gave me a fantastic tip that I rely on often. When you’re interacting with others and you notice yourself going into thoughts that leave you feeling not so confident, actively get out of your head by noticing characteristics of the people with whom you are interacting. Observe. Become curious. Wonder what the other person’s “story” is, and remember that, as my friend once said, “we’re all just neighbors in a big place.” There’s something special about feeling connected that makes it easier to not only embrace, but maybe even celebrate, perceived flaws.
To put it simply, Liz is a change strategist. With a master’s degree in communication and leadership coaching training from Georgetown University, coaching people to step into a larger vision of what’s possible lights Liz up.
Want more tips for enjoying your life while getting in amazing shape? Fast Fitness to Go’s membership area has everything you need—from motivation to nutrition to full-body workouts—to get tight and toned while still having a life. Click here to find out more and sign up!